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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  2,553 ratings  ·  515 reviews
Twelve-year-old Owen Birnbaum is the fattest kid in school. But he's also a genius who invents cool contraptions? like a TV that shows the past. Something happened two years ago that he needs to see. But genius or not, there is much Owen can't outthink. Like his gym coach, who's on a mission to humiliate him. Or the way his Oreos keep disappearing from his lunch. He's sure ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 14th 2009 by Philomel (first published March 30th 2009)
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22 Book Salute It was different in a great way! Lots of lessons to learn about self respect as well as respect for peers. We really enjoyed reading Owens story.…moreIt was different in a great way! Lots of lessons to learn about self respect as well as respect for peers. We really enjoyed reading Owens story. Sensitive subject matter addressed with appropriate writing. (less)
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First, just take a look at that cover. What comes to mind? Looking at the cover, you think you know what this book is about, but you don't.

"A three-story red-brick nightmare of educational progress." (p.2)

That's how Owen Birnbaum introduces us to school, his school at least. At Owen's school students can determine their own "educational progress" by studying whatever floats their boat at the moment.

Being the smartest kid in the school, and now the fattest, brings problems for Owen, even at such
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for

Ellen Potter's SLOB is as delicious as its main character's beloved Oreo cookies (more on the cookies later). Things are not going well for twelve-year-old Owen Birnbaum. Even if you're one point from having a genius IQ, there are still some problems that are almost impossible to solve.

Owen's 57% fatter than the national average, which is bad enough, but after he embarrasses his gym teacher, Mr. Woolsey is out for revenge. Plus, someone is stealing h
Tiffany Neal
I adored Owen. I absolutely loved his voice and honesty and the twists threaded throughout the plot. Not just a fun story, but also leaves a few subtle messages that kids need to hear. Enjoyed everything about this. A contender for read aloud next year!
Anyce Paul-Emile
He lost his mother and father, but doesn’t know who killed them. He gets bullied for being fat. He is having his stuff stolen. You would think this is the worst of his life, but it’s not. These are some things that are happening in the life of 12 year-old Owen Birnbaum who is also the smartest kid. Also if you are curious at all about what his IQ is let me just tell you this. You may never know. I am still curious about his IQ. It doesn’t say it anywhere in the book. This is a dramatic/funny fi ...more
Barb Middleton
Owen is fat. Really fat. He’s 57% fatter than most 12-year-old boys. And he’s a middle schooler. Ugh. He wasn’t always that way. Food for Owen Birnbaum fills the ache in his stomach that comes when he thinks of his past. Hints are slowly revealed as to what the tragedy is that happened to Owen and his sister, Caitlin or Jeremy. Caitlin is dealing with the past by joining the club GWAB, Girls Who are Boys, where she cuts her hair, wears boys clothes and changes her girl name to the boy name, Jere ...more
SLOB by Ellen Potter is about 12- year old Owen Bienbaum who happens to be the fattest kid in school. But, he is also a genius. He is trying to invent a TV that shows his past. There is something that happened two years ago that he had to see. Genius or not, he's still the fattest kid in school, and isn't always treated right. Like his gym teacher, who is out to get him. Or how his Oreos keep disappearing from his lunch box. He thinks that if he can get the TV to work, thinks will start to make ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolyn S
DATE: 12-6-12

I'm currently reading the book "Slob" by Ellen Potter. So far I've gotten to page #117 and I have to say the book is pretty interesting... Owen (the main character) is an overweight twelve year-old boy, but although he may not by physically great, Owen has very high I.Q. scores and he whizzes through his homework in no time flat. One thing I really like about the book is Owen's incredible way of thought and his low self-esteem. He lets bully's attract to him like magnets and when th
Elements & style: the characters are Owen Birnbaurm[main characters],Jeremy Birnbaurm, Mason Ragg, Nima,& mr. Wolly. The climax is when Own finds out about how his sister Jeremy was faking the break though that Owen was finding who killed his parents. The antagonist in the start was Mason Ragg a guy with the swicte blade in his sock, so Owen hough he was taking his oreos.My mood when I was reading this book was dark & sad.

Characteriztion: Owen is a fat tweleve year old boy really h
Based on the title of this book, I expected a look into the struggles that an overweight kid faces at school and in everyday life. There really wasn't much focus on this, but I ended up not being disappointed with the content that was there instead. The author has a similar sense of humor to me, and I felt like I could have written some scenes myself. Some of my favorite parts were the times Owen spent with the Buddhist named Nima who sold food from his street cart and liked to watch Bollywood m ...more
John Carrithers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Kim
I had my daughter (9) read this as it was on an award winning list at the library. She said there was club called GWAB in the book. It means Girls Who Are Boys. That raised a red flag in my mind so I immediately read it to discuss with my daughter so here's the mom's 2 cents. No matter what your position is on gay/lesbian issues, the message it sends kids is disturbing. Unquestionably unresolved bullying is throughout the book. The PE teacher is a bully and he does not get what he deserves in th ...more
Owen Birnbaum was going through a tough stage in his life. He was extremely overweight. Owen was five feet tall and one hundred fifty-six pounds. Every day, he brought three Oreo cookies to school for a treat after lunch, but something strange started to happen. His cookies just began vanishing. Luckily, Owen was very smart, so he started designing and assembling little contraptions out of things he'd unearth from different demolition sites. One thing he made was the 'Jaws of Anguish', a little ...more
Slob by Ellen Potter initially pulled me in with likable characters and a myriad of unfolding mysteries revealed throughout the book. Owen is the smartest and fattest kid at his school, and is often bullied by peers and adults in his life. The theft of his lunchtime oreos, the humiliation he faces at the hands of his cruel PE teacher, and his efforts to perfect a mysterious invention are the main focal points of Owen's story.

I was initially impressed and pleased by Potter's treatment of Owen, w
I loved the main character, Owen Birnbaum, who is a big overweight teen with a very high IQ. He gets picked on by almost everyone. Owen endures the teasing and outright bullying by classmates and teachers alike. His older sister seems to believe in him more than anyone else, but he's afraid that she will see him for "who he really is". When his Oreo cookies are stolen from his lunch repeatedly, Owen sets off on a hunt to capture the thief. Owen's insight and sense of humor make this a breeze to ...more
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N.A. Sharpe
A lot of things can be said about Owen Birmbaum. He is twelve years old and the fattest kid in school. It’s not mean – it’s statistics. He hasn’t always been this way – only for the last two years. Another thing you can say about Owen is he is an easy target for bullies – even his gym teacher has targeted him as a source of personal entertainment and new feats of humiliation are orchestrated with each and every class.

Owen is not the only one having trouble. He is very close with his little sist
Hannah L.
208 pgs
Ellen Potter
Slob is about a kid named Owen Birnbaum. He is fifty seven percent fatter than the average eighth grader, but probably the smartest kid in eighth grade. When he was younger, both mother and father got shot in the deli they both owned. Since his seventh grade year, Owen has been trying to figure out a way to signal the surveillance tape from the night his parents died to find out who killed his parents on that fateful night. He names the machine he is working on Nemesis, b
Yoora Jung
I chose this book because on the cover there was the word "SLOB" with an oreo in the middle so I predicted that it ought to be a story about a fat kid. Since I enjoy reading about obese kids and their point of view, I decided to check it out from the library. This book is about a 12 year old boy who is getting bullied by his classmates and harassed by his P.E. teacher just because he's the fattest kid in school. He's also the smartest kid and he tries to find out who killed his parents two year ...more
Atah Hassan
He's not popular, fit, handsome nor loved by everyone at school. He's Owen Birnbaum. Owen is a fat genius. He has invented many cool things in the past and is now inventing something to look into the past. This is for sure one of my favorite books.

This book mainly takes place in Owen's house and school. His gym teacher HATES him and even bullies him more then other kids sometimes. Owen's sister Jeremy is a "GWAB" GWAB members are girls who act and dress just like boys. Jeremy loves her brother O
Kobe Lin
I think that the book SLOB was an amazing book. I really liked the book because the author, Ellen Potter, just makes the story flow and make me able to pretend that I am the main character, Owen, and that my sister is Owen's sister, Caitlin ( or Jeremy). I also like this book because it is like a mystery and suspense book, but at the same time, it is like a realistic fiction book. My favorite part of the book is when the main character Owen doesn't get picked on because of his weight anymore. Th ...more
Destinee Sutton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brock Bagozzi
I think Slob by Ellen Potter was a wonderful book! It focus on one of the fattest kid of the school named Owen Birnbaum. He faces many challenges like, a gym teacher who constantly tries to humiliate him or his Oreos that disappearing. Overall the book was a joy and i would recommend this book for people in-between the ages of 9 though 15. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lexi Z
I recently finished the book Slob by Ellen Potter it's about a boy named Owen who is over weight and one point off of genius rating. Naturally he is a bully magnet. And that's just what the book is about. Someone keeps stealing Owen's Oreos which are basically the only bright spot of his entire day. Over the course of the book, Owen try's to find out who is stealing his cookies, only to discover.......well, you'll just have to find out. I think Potter did a wonderful job developing Owen into a r ...more
Zero expectations from the cover, title, inside jacket copy - which if you re-read it after finishing the book sounds completely generic and unenticing on purpose - like if they revealed some nuances of the plot it would be totally ruined. Which it would have been, so thank you book copy people. I won't add any revealing details either, but I was genuinely surprised and pleased by the completely solid plotting and pacing. Like when you look at a beautifully simple wood table and it's "rightness" ...more
Owen's mom puts three Oreos in his lunch every day. That's the deal: he won't sneak extra snacks, but those Oreos are something to look forward to. And he's really looking forward to them after a particularly sadistic gym class--only to find that someone's stolen them from his lunch bag. He'll have to come up with some way to catch the thief, but that will divert time away from the true invention he's been working on, something that will finally explain the big mystery in his past.

Mostly I liked
Kristen Jorgensen
This book is more then you think it will be.

Owen, the brightest and fattest kid, is not the most social nor is he renown for his bravery. While he is accustomed to the jokes and laughing over his weight, he can't rest until he captures the culprit involved in the daily theft of his lunch bag cookies.

Seldom comes along a story that isn't predictable in some form. This isn't the book I thought it would be, instead it was much better. The ending was perfect and one to reflect on. It was very wel
Lance Bowman
Oct 09, 2013 Lance Bowman rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like realistic fiction
Recommended to Lance by: The Chief (Anonymous)
This book is a very good book, connecting to the world around us and obesity. This boy, Owen, is the fattest kid in his class, and he is made fun of almost everybody in the school-except his sister, his friend, Izzy, and his so-so friend, Andre (so-so because he calls Owen "Flapjack"). Owen is apparent archenemies with the hard-nosed gym teacher with the cozy name, Mr. Wooly, who likes to see nonathletic kids fail. Owen is humiliated in front of the whole gym class, and then leads in another dis ...more
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What if we really think about the themes/message in this book? 2 6 May 21, 2014 05:37AM  
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Ellen Potter (born 1973) is an American author of both children's and adult's books (as Ellen Toby-Potter). She grew up in Upper West Side, New York and studied creative writing at Binghamton University and now lives in Candor in upstate New York. She has been a contributor to Cimarron Review, Epoch, The Hudson Review, and Seventeen. Her novel Olivia Kidney was winner of the Child Magazine Best Bo ...more
More about Ellen Potter...
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“Jeremy used to hate it when she was younger because someone in her class told her redheads were freaks of nature.But our mother told her that redheads were genetically more courageous than other people and that she should always where her hair long,like a wariors badge of honor.” 6 likes
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